The national Democratic Party's platform committee voted on Saturday to endorse same-sex marriage for the first time, and called for the repeal of a federal law that recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman, to attract new voters.
The committee, co-chaired by Newark Mayor Cory Booker and meeting in downtown Detroit on Saturday, supported "marriage equality" and the "movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples," The Associated Press reported.
The 50-page platform, approved by 100 Democratic platform committee members, comes around two months after President Barack Obama announced that he personally supports gay marriage.
"We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference," says the platform, a broad statement of the party's priorities which will now go to the national convention in North Carolina in September for approval.
The platform, drafted by a separate group two weeks ago in Minneapolis, also calls for the repeal of a 1996 law recognizing marriage as between a man and woman.
"Young people are looking for a political home right now. This has become a defining moral question of our time," Scott Dibble, a committee member and a state senator from Minnesota, who is gay, was quoted as saying.
"At the end of the day, it'll maybe repel some and attract others to be more engaged," Booker stated. "This campaign is not going to turn on gay marriage. This campaign is going to turn on who has the best ideas for the economy."
Booker added that, as a party, they "have really embraced the president's ideas."
"Support for the freedom to marry puts the party on the right side of history, and in the solid mainstream of the majority of the American people," said Evan Wolfson from Freedom to Marry.
The platform also makes mention of the $85 billion auto bailout and endorses the 54.5 mpg fuel rules by 2025. "The Democratic Party supports a broad-based strategy to strengthen further an American renaissance in manufacturing, with tax relief for clean energy manufacturing, incentives to create advanced vehicles in the United States."
"So impressed with DNC Platform leadership. I'm Co-chairing with LT General Claudia Kennedy," Booker wrote on Twitter earlier Saturday. "She & others here are outstanding professionals."